By Field Technologies magazine
The Fleets & Facilities Department of the city of Seattle is responsible for managing 105 buildings, including health centers, police stations, and fire houses. The department's specialized teams have a range of expertise including plumbing, paint, carpentry, heating, and ventilation. To maintain these facilities, they conduct routine inspections and repairs, resulting in 10,000 to 11,000 work orders per year.
Management of all the workflows — from work orders to time sheets — has traditionally been on paper. A work order is sent to the maintenance department and a scheduler assigns it to a specific worker. Once the repair is completed, the order is documented and closed. The paper trail creates bottlenecks and management challenges. When paper documents are lost — work orders remain open — leading to duplicate work or surprises on site. Writing the data on paper for these mobile workers was easy. Reliably accessing the digital data was difficult.